Category Archives: Diet

Health: The Benefits Of “Intermittent Fasting” For People In High-Stress Jobs

From Oxford University Press – OUP (May 1, 2020):

…ultra-processed foods are generally the foods available to nurses working nightshifts, firefighters returning to their department after a call, police officers Intermittent Fasting Article in OUP May 1 2020patrolling neighborhoods, or military soldiers during field-exercises. Thus, time-restricted eating removes the added stress of what to eat, and serves as a practical intervention conducive to the schedules of many people.

Time-restricted eating has been shown to lower circulating insulin, blood pressure, body fat and overall body weight, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

Time-restricted eating is a nutrition intervention which alternates between a period of fasting (12 – 16 hours) followed by a period of eating (8 – 12 hours). Unlike other diets, which focus on the caloric content of a meal or which foods you should eat, time-restricted eating focuses exclusively on when you eat by compressing and standardizing the feeding window each day. In turn, people following this type of eating pattern naturally enter a state of caloric deficit.

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Nutrition Reviews - Time-Restricted Feeding

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Diet Infographic: Most “Macronutrient Diets” Reduce Weight & Blood Pressure In 6 Months (BMJ)

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From a BMJ Study article (April, 2020):

Compared with usual diet, moderate certainty evidence supports modest weight loss and substantial reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure for low carbohydrate (eg, Atkins, Zone), low fat (eg, Ornish), and moderate macronutrient (eg, DASH, Mediterranean) diets at six but not 12 months. Differences between diets are, however, generally trivial to small, implying that people can choose the diet they prefer from among many of the available diets (fig 6) without concern about the magnitude of benefits.

Introduction

The worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled between 1975 and 2018.1 In response, authorities have made dietary recommendations for weight management and cardiovascular risk reduction.23 Diet programmes—some focusing on carbohydrate reduction and others on fat reduction—have been promoted widely by the media and have generated intense debates about their relative merit. Millions of people are trying to lose weight by changing their diet. Thus establishing the effect of dietary macronutrient patterns (carbohydrate reduction v fat reduction v moderate macronutrients) and popular named dietary programmes is important.

Biological and physiological mechanisms have been proposed to explain why some dietary macronutrient patterns and popular dietary programmes should be better than others. A previous network meta-analysis, however, suggested that differences in weight loss between dietary patterns and individual popular named dietary programmes are small and unlikely to be important.4 No systematic review and network meta-analysis has examined the comparative effectiveness of popular dietary programmes for reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease, an area of continuing controversy.

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New Study: Obesity Results In Six Times Higher Rates Of Type 2 Diabetes, 3X More Than Genetic Risks (2020)

From a Diabetologia online study release (April 15, 2020):

Diabetologia Journal“Having normal body weight is crucial in the prevention of type 2 diabetes, regardless of genetic predisposition.”

“The results suggest that type 2 diabetes prevention by weight management and healthy lifestyle is critical across all genetic risk groups.”

“Overall, the results indicate that a favorable lifestyle should be universally recommended in the prevention of type 2 diabetes, regardless of genetic predisposition, thus supporting current public health guidelines,”

Methods

We examined the joint association of genetic predisposition, obesity and unfavourable lifestyle with incident type 2 diabetes using a case-cohort study nested within the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort in Denmark. The study sample included 4729 individuals who developed type 2 diabetes during a median 14.7 years of follow-up, and a randomly selected cohort sample of 5402 individuals.

Results

Obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) and unfavourable lifestyle were associated with higher risk for incident type 2 diabetes regardless of genetic predisposition (p > 0.05 for GRS–obesity and GRS–lifestyle interaction). The effect of obesity on type 2 diabetes risk (HR 5.81 [95% CI 5.16, 6.55]) was high, whereas the effects of high genetic risk (HR 2.00 [95% CI 1.76, 2.27]) and unfavourable lifestyle (HR 1.18 [95% CI 1.06, 1.30]) were relatively modest.

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Health Study: Older Adults With High Glucose Levels (A1C) Have Greater Cognitive Decline

From a MedPage Today online article (April 2, 2020):

Endocrine Society NewsThis relationship between higher glucose levels and poorer cognitive functioning extended beyond just CASI z-score, as well, Cukierman-Yaffe noted. Higher HbA1c levels were also tied to significantly poorer performance in other psychological tests, including the clock making test of executive functioning, test of discriminative ability, and for the test of verbal fluency.

Poorer glycemic control was tied to cognitive decline following a lacunar stroke in a prospective cohort study.

Among 942 individuals with type 2 diabetes who had a lacunar stroke, every 1% higher HbA1c was tied to a 0.06 drop in cognitive function at baseline measured by Cognitive Assessment Screening Instrument (CASI) z-score (95% CI -0.101 to -0.018), reported Tali Cukierman-Yaffe, MD, MSc, of Sheba Medical Center and the Sackler School of Medicine of Tel Aviv University in Israel.

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Obesity Study: “Late Night Snacking” Older Adults – Higher Fat Levels Than Early Eaters On Same Diet

From a PLOS Biology Journal study (Feb 20, 2020):

Snacking Before you sleep Keeps on the Fat PLOS Biology April 2020
Schematic: Late-evening snacking interacts with the circadian rhythm of metabolism to inhibit LO.

The major finding of this study is that the timing of feeding over the day leads to significant differences in the metabolism of an equivalent 24-h nutritional intake. Daily timing of nutrient availability coupled with daily/circadian control of metabolism drives a switch in substrate preference such that the late-evening Snack Session resulted in significantly lower LO compared to the Breakfast Session. 

Developed countries are experiencing an epidemic of obesity that leads to many serious health problems, foremost among which are increasing rates of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. While weight gain and obesity are primarily determined by diet and exercise, there is tremendous interest in the possibility that the daily timing of eating might have a significant impact upon weight management [13]. Many physiological processes display day/night rhythms, including feeding behavior, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, body temperature, and sleep.

PLOS Biology StudiesThese daily oscillations are controlled by the circadian clock, which is composed of an autoregulatory biochemical mechanism that is expressed in tissues throughout the body and is coordinated by a master pacemaker located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the brain (aka the SCN [1,4]). The circadian system globally controls gene expression patterns so that metabolic pathways are differentially regulated over the day, including switching between carbohydrate and lipid catabolism [1,3,59]. Therefore, ingestion of the same food at different times of day could lead to differential metabolic outcomes, e.g., lipid oxidation (LO) versus accumulation; however, whether this is true or not is unclear.

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Medical Podcasts: A Clinical Review Of “The Pritikin Diet” (JAMA)

JAMA Clinical Reviews LogoNathan Pritikin was a college dropout who became an entrepreneur. While doing research for the government during World War II, he observed that populations that had extremely limited food availability because of the war had substantially reduced mortality from cardiovascular disease—something unexpected at a time when cardiovascular disease was thought to be due to stress. 

After the war when food became more available CVD death rates went back up, resulting in Pritikin concluding that CVD was related to diet. Pritikin devised his own very low-fat diet that bears his name and the diet is still in use 65 years later.

Study: Maintaining Weight Loss Tied To Healthier Eating Routines Formed Over Two-Year Period

From a New York Times online article (March 16, 2020):

New York Times How To Lose Weight and Keep It Off Study March 16 2020“Maintaining weight loss can get easier over time. Over time, less intentional effort, though not no effort, is needed to be successful. After about two years, healthy eating habits become part of the routine. Healthy choices become more automatic the longer people continue to make them. They feel weird when they don’t.”

Among the useful strategies identified in the new study is to keep lower calorie foods like fruits and vegetables more accessible. “We eat what we see,” Dr. Phelan noted. The corollary is equally important: keep high-calorie, less nourishing foods relatively inaccessible and out of sight if not out of the house entirely.

The new study led by Dr. Phelan, professor of kinesiology and public health at California Polytechnic State University, identified habits and strategies that can be keys to success for millions. Yes, like most sensible weight-loss plans, they involve healthful eating and regular physical activity. But they also include important self-monitoring practices and nonpunitive coping measures that can be the crucial to long-term weight management.

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